Homeless on the tennis courts

When I showed up for tennis Wednesday morning @ 6 the courts were dark.  I’m often the first player to get there.  We have a first come, first serve system (if you’ll pardon the pun). Our tennis court maintenance man said there was a homeless man sleeping on the bench between the courts.  I suggested he turn on the lights to hopefully rouse him up. Which it did. Long story short, I talked to the young man (30-ish?) for a few minutes, with a waist high fence strategically placed between the two of us. He seemed relatively harmless, but you never know. Plus I had a tennis racket and a pretty wicked backhand.
Turns out that the lanky fellow, Greg, was from Ocala. He had a fairly nice looking bike with him. Did he bike all the way here?  He was missing a front tooth.  I’m thinking, Mescaline use, a fight, a biking accident?  In our relatively brief conversation it seemed he had had a wide variety of jobs, from electrician to roofer.  I gave him some suggestions about job opportunities in the area (construction is booming), and a sign I saw about cash daily for dock work.  I also gave him a homeless packet I’d brought from my car with a concoction of stuff we put together to give drifters at intersections. A Bible tract about “Peace with God” by the Billy Graham association, a couple of one dollar bills, an energy bar, some candy and a 2-1-1 social services info card.  I told him I’d pray for him (which I have). He seemed genuinely moved.
I don’t want to be an enabler, or a victim. (“Be as wise as serpents, but gentle as doves.”) But Jesus encourages us, commands us, to act when we have the opportunity set before us.  “Be doers of the Word, not just hearers only.”  As Christians, when we show compassion to another human being, we’re showing the face and mercy of Jesus.  (Matthew 10:16, James 1:22)

One thought on “Homeless on the tennis courts

  1. Hey brother George! Unfortunately, it looks like homelessness will become worse everywhere. I like the tennis backhand comment, lol! Back to your encounter, PTL that you did what you did. The world needs more great Christian men like you. Bro Paul.


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